Coronavirus: Toilet Paper Sold With Sandwiches At Huntington Deli
Blue Line Deli & Bagels is offering essentials like water and toilet paper at cost price to help people get through the new coronavirus.
HUNTINGTON, NY — A Huntington delicatessen is serving up more than just traditional sandwiches as the new coronavirus spreads and people across Long Island struggle to find everyday household goods. In a sure sign of the times, customers can head to Blue Line Deli & Bagels for toilet paper, bottles of water and paper towels — and perhaps buy lunch while they're at it.
Donald Rosner, 38, who owns the deli at 719 W. Jericho Turnpike, knew there was a problem when he took a trip to King Kullen a week ago to buy store supplies and was met with empty shelves.
"They had nothing," Rosner told Patch. "Having two kids at home, if I wasn't able to get toilet paper, that'd be a massive problem for me."
2020欧洲杯赛事Rosner found he was still able to procure goods for his deli through a longtime supplier during his time working for Bagel Boss, a franchise his family is still very much involved with. Hoping to help others find supplies, Rosner decided to start selling them at the same price he pays his supplier.
2020欧洲杯赛事"We've been offering at cost for people in the neighborhood and trying to help out, because I can't stand people who gouge prices," he said. "When there's a crisis, people need help; they don't need to get their wallets stolen from them."
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Blue Line is selling three rolls of toilet paper for $2, with a maximum of six rolls per family. Eight bottles of Poland Spring water go for $5, with a maximum of two orders. Rosner is also selling rolls of paper towels for $2.50 each; he hasn't been advertising those because he said he feels bad about charging that much for them, but that's the price he's been getting them at since the disease, known officially as COVID-19, began spreading. He added he'd be willing to allow larger families to buy more supplies, but asks that the same people don't come in multiple times per week.
Rosner pledged his food prices wouldn't be boosted, either. He has had to make a few adjustments, however, as many businesses have struggled since a state mandate temporarily banned sit-down service earlier this month.
"The store's not doing great, but it's not doing terribly, either," Rosner said. "I'm able to sustain, and I'm kicking in my own money to keep that going. I just don't know how long I can do that. If this is a six or seven month thing, then I'll have to make some cuts on products."
Rosner already told his staff they won't be going anywhere. He did have to slash the store's hours, — closing five hours earlier at 3 p.m. — but he said it was the only way he could keep the store running with every employee accounted for. The store still opens at 5 a.m. every day.
2020欧洲杯赛事"If I'm the captain of this ship, and it's me and my crew, we all either go up together or down together," he said. "I'm not letting anyone go."
A lifelong New York Islanders fan, Rosner sculpted Blue Line Deli & Bagels to be a National Hockey League-themed establishment. NHL merchandise covers the light blue, orange, black and white-painted walls, and fans are encouraged to strike up conversations about hockey with one another. Rosner credited the support of his fellow Isles fans as a large part of what's been keeping his store afloat in the rough COVID-19 waves.
"I wanted to make it very clear that a lot of the business that we're doing is from Islanders fans on Twitter who want to support local businesses and support me," Rosner said. "I'm beyond flattered. I don't even know how to express how thankful I am to all of these people on Twitter who are risking their health, because that's really what they're doing, to come to the store and get a sandwich. That's why I'm doing everything necessary that when they are at my store, that they're safe."
2020欧洲杯赛事Long NHL conversations will have to wait, though, as businesses are only allowed to do takeout, curbside pickup or delivery until the coronavirus passes. Blue Line Deli offers all three options. Deliveries are typically made in nearby neighborhoods: Huntington, Melville, Cold Spring Harbor to name a few. However, for catering orders or those over $20, delivery orders can come from anywhere, Rosner said.
Deli staff have been taking extra precautions since COVID-19 began, well before the state mandate that restricted on-premises service. Every employee wears two gloves at any time, and gloves are changed after any customer is served. Staff must wash their hands every 20 minutes, as well. Counters, bathrooms, the floor, cutting boards, knives, etc. are all cleaned with special supplies.
2020欧洲杯赛事"I'm a little bit of a germaphobe to begin with, so I'm really freaking out with all this," Rosner said. "I'm making sure that my people know we don't take any risks. Every single precaution necessary, we're taking."
2020欧洲杯赛事Rosner has had experience in the business industry through his time at Bagel Boss, which he left to focus on his deli venture, but he only opened his store March 12 as the coronavirus picked up steam. He said opening a store is always "very difficult," although not many have had to do it while facing a pandemic. Rosner's main ambition hasn't changed, though.
"Before I even opened, my biggest goal might have been when people come in, to have them have the best experience they've ever had in a deli," he said. "Most people, you walk into a deli, you order your sandwich and you leave. For me, you walk into the deli, and hopefully you get to have a really cool hockey conversation with somebody, maybe bump into a hockey player, or at the very least get amazing food, and it's a clean plate."
The Blue Line Deli & Bagels website is still in the works, but the menu includes egg sandwiches, Bagel Boss bagels, lettuce wraps, quesadillas, salads, and a load of sandwiches that can be customized. Bonus: All sandwiches' names are hockey-inspired.
For now, Rosner and his deli team will focus on surviving the coronavirus from a business perspective — and helping his customers do so with household items. Once it passes, he'll at last get to run Blue Line Deli & Bagels while firing on all cylinders.
"Coronavirus sucks," he said. "It's making a lot of people sick. I think people now understand the severity of it. "If I had a message, it's: Wash your hands, don't touch your face, be careful where you go, and wherever you do go, make sure they're taking the proper precautions that you are kept safe. We're doing everything we possibly can to keep people safe and make our place safe. This whole situation sucks, and I hope it ends very, very soon. I hope people are able to come out of it, because I feel bad for people who have businesses that they invested their life savings into like I did."
2020欧洲杯赛事 The shop can be called for orders at 631-944-3222.
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